On Hallowe’en, when I was around five or six (maybe even the same year I split my head open), my older siblings were allowed to leave on their own to go trick-or-treating, but I had to stay home until I finished my supper, and wait for my mom to get my little brother in his costume.
I remember thinking how completely unfair it was that I had to wait for my baby brother, and be treated ‘like a baby’, when my next oldest sister was only two years older than me, and she got to go out with my other sister and brothers. After enough complaints, my mother warned me that she could leave me home while she brought my brother around if I kept harassing her. I don’t think I uttered a word after that until we finally went out into the chilly night.
We had split-pea soup that night, which was one of my favorite dishes my mom made, but there would be no seconds that night. I wanted to get out there and trick-or-treat until my pillowcase was filled to the brim with candy! I never stopped to think how heavy it would be to actually fill a pillowcase full of candy. Back then, there were no ‘fun-sized’ candy bars, only full-sized bars, but people often gave things like small boxes of raisins, or popcorn balls, or apples. My mom would usually throw out anything that wasn’t store-bought, so I had to beg her let me keep a candied-apple one year, and she finally acquiesced after I badgered her so much that she told me it would serve me right if I found a razor-blade in the apple. I also think I lied and told her I knew who it was who gave me the apple, so she could have them arrested if I died.
All week before Hallowe’en I walked home from school singing the Five Little Pumpkins song, and felt a chill up my spine when I sang, “Oo, ooh went the wind, and out went the light…!” I would pull off any leaves still clinging to their branches that I could reach on my way home, as though that would hasten the arrival of the much-anticipated day.
My older sisters and brothers always ended up with more candy than I, or my younger brother ever got, and I remember thinking that I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to get as much candy as them.
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